tv BBC Business Live BBC News December 19, 2016 8:30am-9:01am GMT
this is business live from bbc news with ben thompson and sally bundock. panic buying and looting in venezuela as the currency crisis reaches a peak. live from london, that's our top story on monday, 19th december. venezuela's president nicolas maduro has been forced to delay the withdrawal of the country's most widely used banknote following a period of public unrest. also in the programme, can the eu strike a trade deal with japan amid fears of growing protectionism? the market for looking like this. the market for looking like this. the santa rally isn't happening. more details later. and as christmas fast approaches we'll be getting the inside track on the world of toys. our very own santa's little helper is somewhere in london.
guess where i am. i am at the world's oldest toy shop, hamleys in london. christmas is days away and father christmas is pretty busy. are you excited for father christmas? yes. we will be taking a look at this near $90 billion global industry. and the question today, what was your favourite christmas toy? you know what to do, use the hashtag, hello, elves! hello! i wonder if hamleys know what they have let themselves in for. more later. and keep your comments coming in on what your favourite toy was. venezuela is a country in chaos. troops are patrolling cities where looting and protests have erupted over the government's plan
to withdraw the country's largest denomination bank note from circulation. a partial curfew is in place in the southern city of ciudad bolivar, which has been most affected by the disturbances. —— in some cities. president nicolas maduro says more than 300 people have been detained. he has now postponed the withdrawal of the 100 bolivar note until january and, seeking to calm nerves, has said a first batch of replacement notes had arrived and would be put into circulation. so how did the country get to this state? venezuela's economy has been struggling for a long time now. by the end of this year it will be producing more than 20% less good and services than it did in 2013. —— goods. one of the driving factors is the reliance on oil. the black stuff accounts for 96% of exports but even before the price collapse of the last two years the economy was shrinking. that's made it worse. that along with the way the government has managed
the economy with price and currency controls mean the international monetary fund is predicting inflation of nearly 500% but some dispute that figure. and that's why the 100 bolivar note which was supposed to have been withdrawn on friday is worth less than 2 us cents. it was the most common banknote accounting for almost 48% of the currency in circulation. diego zuluaga from the uk based think—tank the institute for economic affairs is with us. warrier as ben —— as ben outlined there, this is just the tip of the iceberg in venezuela, isn't it? but was it actually a good idea to get bigger denominated notes on stream, but it has just been purely executed —— poorly executed? you have inflation, so you need to change the
denomination. the 100 bolivar was becoming useless. it is 50% of the money in circulation in venezuela. and most people rely on cash to make transactions. most people don't have bank accounts. it isn't poorly executed, it is just the wrong way to approach the problem. if something isn't done zero ‘s will just keep being added to the currency. interesting to hear the government's reason for doing this. they were trying to stop money—laundering and gang activity. many were bemused by that. money—laundering and gang activity. many were bemused by thatm money—laundering and gang activity. many were bemused by that. it is an issue of scapegoating. it is about finding the external enemy. colombia has been blamed many times for holding the currency abroad. but if people are hoarding currency, taking even more out of it does not seem to bea even more out of it does not seem to be a remedy. how is the economy fairy, how are people getting along,
because there was a lot of discontent about the current government? talk us through what is going on and what might happen in the new year. the economy of venezuela has been in chaos. increasing chaos for the better part of the past two years. the decline in the oil price, its main export, has compounded problems. venezuelan need something like $150 per barrel to meet the market price. there is escalating unrest. supplies are short. there are no medical supplies. the productivity of the economy has stalled. that is a result of the mismanagement which has been taking place for the past two years. when do you think we might see some political change? the main issue is economic change. the government to change direction completely. removing price controls. and stop harassing private activity, which is at the heart of this...
will we see that before political change? it is difficult to tell. the government is set in its ways. it has established a network of favour granting to particular groups in society. it's difficult to reverse. the heart of the problem is economic and it is a direct consequence. u nless and it is a direct consequence. unless that changes, problems will only escalate, and things will only get worse on a political plane, as well. thank you. interesting scenario and a difficult one, as well, we shall keep across it at the bbc. in other news: talks aimed at averting a strike by cabin crew at british airways over christmas are to be held later. members of the unite union are due to walk out on christmas day and boxing day in a row over pay and conditions. the industrial action, if it goes ahead, could involve up to 11,500 staff. apple plans to appeal against the european commission's ruling that it pays up to e13 billion to ireland in back taxes. eu regulators ruled apple's controversial tax deal was illegal, and is demanding the record penalty.
ireland is also contesting the decision, claiming eu regulators were interfering with national sovereignty. rogue one: a star wars story has taken nearly $291 million around the world on its opening weekend. north america accounted for about half of the total for the star wars spin—off — making $155 million. that gave the film the second—best december opening weekend on record in both the uk and the us. will you go and see it? no, i have heard mixed reviews, i mightjust wait... iam mightjust wait... i am pretty sure i will be going, because i have three young boys. yeah, you don't have a choice. finance leaders from japan and the eu want to reach an agreement on a free—trade pact this week. it comes at an uncertain time for international trade, as us president—elect donald trump speaks of protectionism and the uk's decision to split from the european union mariko 0i is in singapore.
bring us up to date. it's a fascinating issue because of all of those things we've heard elsewhere. trump, brexit, really weighing on all of this. that's right. just as we thought free trade deals are totally out of fashion, asian countries have been pursuing their own deals. if you remember recently it ratified their partnership, which includes 12 countries, including the united states. —— especiallyjapan. trump said he would kill the deal on his first day in office. canada and the eu have been trying to reach an agreement. there has been talk on the tokyo side, whether there will be political pressure, just like the eu canada deal faced, be political pressure, just like the eu canada dealfaced, but it seems that they are getting close to an
agreement. and that is a big thing over here in asia. thanks very much. we will check with singapore as we approach christmas. i would like to stay in asia... nintendo tumbled 7% with investors underwhelmed by its latest mobile game. its new game super mario run received tepid reviews, a far cry from the global phenomenon that was pokemon go earlier this year. shares also hit by profit taking and a stronger yen on concerns about china—us tensions after beijing seized a us navy drone in international waters in the south china sea. in europe, as we head into the christmas week, you'd think it might be quiet, but amid industrial relations disputes and the threat of strikes it's going to be anything but quiet. joining us isjeremy cook, chief economist at world first.
nice to see you. then there's touching on what is going on in a brand—new trading week. bp doing well. its shares our up half a percent, doing deals with abu dhabi. it is no coincidence after those deals that we will see more investment in the oil market and oil sector by big players, for example bp. they've taken a 10% share in the abu dhabi all company. —— oil. this will add access to the emirates oilfields. it is a pretty shrewd manoeuvre. and abu dhabi get 8096 sta ke manoeuvre. and abu dhabi get 8096 stake in bp. around 2.2. they are
still wheeling and dealing even though we are heading towards the christmas week which tends to be quiet. it does tend to be quiet. but the long—term scenarios for oil suggests prices will pick up. bb stand to benefit from that. oil is a low marginal cost per barrel at the moment. no santa rally yet. a couple of days still to go. —— bp stand to benefit. the us have had an amazing run. you sound disappointed. everybody is still talking about dowjones. sound disappointed. everybody is still talking about dow jones. the ftse did well on friday. yes, and it isa ftse did well on friday. yes, and it is a continue of the stimulus from the trump administration. there has been activity over bonds. that will continue into the new year until the 20th of january when the presidency of donald trump actually starts. and we find out if everything he said on
the campaign trail was true. how quickly does that translate? will the markets do something as soon as he is inaugurated? he said he would do something with china on his first day in office. we will find out whether he is actually going to start playing hard ball with whether he is actually going to start playing hardball with china. we were talking about the eu japan trade. the protectionism, the rising protectionism of the presidency, in a post brexit environment. these trade deals which people are not really talking about at the moment between some of the largest economies out there will keep things going. what was your favourite christmas toy? are used to like getting a new mountain bike —— i used. we always able to go out for a bike ride before coming back for some turkey. good stuff. thanks very much. happy christmas. you, too. still to come, aaron's making himself useful for once as santa's little helper.
iam bringing i am bringing this back, pride in the face for you. —— pie. we are having a look at hamleys. we're going to talk about the christmas trade and find out about their expansion plans in, where else, china! thousands of post office workers are beginning strike action today. the walkout by the communication workers union is the latest move in a dispute over pension changes, job security and closures. industrial action this week will also affect airports and southern rail services as keith doyle reports. this last week before christmas is already busy and stressful. but strikes and industrial action could make it a christmas of discontent for many.
0n the trains, southern rail passengers face more disruption as 400 conductors strike today and tomorrow. it's not expected to cause the same level of disruption as last week's strikes by drivers, however many routes and services will be affected. 3,500 workers at crown post offices are starting a five—day strike today in a despute overjobs and pensions that may see the closure of larger high street branches, although the post office says disruption to the public should be minimal. airline travellers face double trouble this week as baggage handlers working for swissport are set to strike on friday and saturday. this will mainly affect regional airports. but a strike by 11,500 british airways cabin crew over pay could also see flights disrupted on christmas day and boxing day. there are efforts being made to resolve these disputes. ba management and the union unite will meet today and a meeting tomorrow to resolve the baggage handlers' dispute is due to be held
but the post office strike is on and there seems little prospect of an early end to the long—running dispute between the rmt union and southern rail, meaning 300,000 commuters face even more disruption. if you are affected by the disruption, keep across the business live page. this is the latest on southern rail for example. discussing what's going on there. there is more about what is happening with postmen as well. who is affected and where? keep across our business live page as we keep you up—to—date with the waves of strikes that are happening across the country. full details on the website, of course: you're watching business live.
our top story, venezuela's president nicolas maduro has been forced to delay the withdrawal of the country's most widely used banknote following a period of public unrest. rampant inflation means that the venezuelan 100 bolivar note is now worth less than two us cents. it isa it is a really tricky situation there. let's get the inside track on a busy period for the toy industry. with christmas less than a week a way, it's a critical time for the likes of mattel, lego and hasbro. hundreds of others hoping their toy will be top of the present wish—list. aaron heslehurst is at london's world famous toy story hamleys. what have you found there? are they
for sally? ah. yeah, they're for sally or they could be for you ben if you want them. i'm like a kid in a candy shop. i have only been here for a0 minutes and i don't know where to begin. this is the world's old est toy where to begin. this is the world's oldest toy shop, it is called hamleys. it was started by william hamleys. it was started by william hamley in 1760. he opened a toy shop in hold burn. you guys said it, it is an important period of time. for all these toy makers, a third of their annual sales are attributed to this christmas period. it is important they get it right and it seems like things are going well because continued growth around the globe for the toy makers, it continues to grow around the 7% mark. we have got a few of the hot picks. this is the hatchimals. this is the only one they have. i'm going
to try and nick it! no, not really. lego, big barbie dolls since they introduced the different ethnicities to reflect our modern life. i'm joined by the ceo of hamleys. the doors are not open yet. let's talk christmas trade. you opened the 100th store? we did. how is christmas trade going? pretty positive. down to three factors. firstly, we have seen an increase to out firstly, we have seen an increase to our store in regent street. in the la st our store in regent street. in the last six months we have doubled the size of our uk portfolio and we are bringing hamleys to 12 locations throughout the uk. as you referred to, last thursday, we opened our 100th store in the largest shopping mall in south africa and our international portfolio continues to trade strongly. i was looking briefly, i was looking at the
numbers here, you get five million people a year through the doors here at yourflagship people a year through the doors here at your flagship store? more than that. well, i was looking at the tourist numbers, port rica gets 3.5 million, you get more visitors that countries get tourists. indeed. i have got to talk to you about brexit. it continues to be a hot topic. the pound has dropped. it is more expensive for you to buy your goodsin? more expensive for you to buy your goods in? we saw foot fall growth. wur shoppers are getting a better return against sterling. however, out return against sterling. however, ourjob is simple. every customer that visits our store, it is an experience, the magical theatre and ambiance that hamleys has to bring. we are talking about this hatchimal. i think it costs about 60 bucks. 0n ebay, what was it on ebay $800 on
ebay! i want to talk about the internet and amazon. i know it is about the experience. but the likes of online shopping, that's got to give you a hit here and there? well, to some extent it does, but we don't directly compete with the internet because the internet can't compete with our service proposition. hamleys is about building experiences, energy, excitement, theatre, demonstrations and interaction with customers and really bringing products to life. the internet cannot compete with that. and can't compete with that, indeed, i was here a couple of years looking at the big christmas spend and the hot toys and since then you're owned by the chinese now. china is your market. one of our markets. we operate in 26 different countries and china is a very important market for us. you say one of them, but don't, hamleys has plans to open, you tell me. well, since we have been acquired by the chinese, we opened our first hamleys
store in china. we have two centres toe open in china and we have identified an additional 50 chinese stores which will open in the next two to three years. wow. we appreciate your time. good luck with the rest of the christmas period. it will be manic today? it is. it is the second busiest trading day of the second busiest trading day of the year. that's what you have sent me down to, the second busiest trading day of the year! some of the hot toys. i mentioned lego. lego continues to be a phenomena, it is one of the biggest, most profitable toy companies in the world. a stark cry from a decade ago when lego nearly went bust! barbie has been reinvigorated. she was a doll that was dying, let's be frank until they introduced 23 different ethnicities and the different sizes, double digit sales for the barbie dolls and
the big nerf gun, i'ming to bring that back! i'm going to take you on! bring two back. we could have such a good fight with that! that would be the best stress relief ever. we could sell tickets! i don't know how it works. next time i talk to you i will have sussed that out, 0k? i talk to you i will have sussed that out, ok? i'm sure you could figure it out! see you later. he is having a great time there. whenever i go there with my children, you cannot move. you get dragged in every direction. and you're trying to watch them so they don't get lost. heather says a real typewriter when she was 13. mum refused to buy a toy one. very useful. that's why you work in tax.
neil death star, heavy duty cardboard, it is still in the loft. morgan says my favourite toy is lego. getting more this year! good stuff. thank you for your messages. my stuff. thank you for your messages. my son gave me his third revision of his list for santa last night and he expects it to get there in time. you better get it sent. put it on e—mail. you can send them by e—mail to the north pole. i will tweet it. if donald trump can do it, so can i. the bbc‘s dominic 0'connell is with us. your favourite toy? lego. a command shuttle. i was a seven—year—old. it is not what i want, it is what they want. were you into lego when you we re want. were you into lego when you were a little boy? lego was out of fashion when i was growing up. it was boring things like bicycles and
stuff like that, but these days, it is all digital, but you still can't to santa claus. financial times talking digital and apple, dublin claims brussels exceeded powers over apple tax. we were waiting for there, weren't we? it dates back to august when europe said that apple hadn't paid 13 billion euros in taxes and it should pay up. ireland said this morning it has given the reasons for the legal reasons for its appeal. it says basically that to brussels it said that irish tax rulings are none of your business and it says that no irish tax law was ignored when they toct decisions and also that sovereignty is national, ie, it is dublin that make the decisions, not brussels. we expect an appeal from apple later today. apple will say the same things with a twist. it will say that tax should be paid in america, not in ireland. it is holding $2
billion off—shore. it says it will ta ke billion off—shore. it says it will take the money back on shore. it hasn't done so, but it will pay it and pay it in america and not in europe. let's turn our attention to food. if you are not looking forward to the turkey and the trimmings, how about take—away, deliveroo are doing very well. now we're going to have dark kitchens. deliveroo are going to build kitchens which restaurants can use. good stuff. thank you too for your tweets today. it is very interesting to hear what people got at christmas, isn't it? see you tomorrow. same place, bye—bye. we're starting this week off on a
quiet settled note thanks to high pressure, but midweek on wards, things will turn unsettled with very windy weather. you can see the such of deep areas of low pressure behind me. for monday, we have got two weather fronts, one across the east and one across the west. these weather fronts will be slowly meeting in the middle as the day wears on and it will abcloudy day for most. the rain pepping up across central and southern parts of england and towards the channel islands. it is quite a dull, grey chilly day with temperatures around six to nine celsius. pretty similarto with temperatures around six to nine celsius. pretty similar to how it was at the weekend. damp across central, eastern areas, maybe some brightness across the north—east, but most places will be remaining quite dull. for northern ireland, western scotland, here a clearance behind the weather front which will behind the weather front which will be pushing further eastwards, just giving a little bit of rain into western parts of wales and north—west england. under clear
skies across the north—west corner, it will be a cold night with frost and mistand it will be a cold night with frost and mist and fog. the weather fronts meeting through the central slice of the uk. here it will be damp, but jenny england and wales cloudy. here, not so cold, frost—free, but a cold, frosty one across the north—west. for tuesday, we start off on north—west. for tuesday, we start offona north—west. for tuesday, we start off on a cold, bright note here. soon, it will turn wet and windy. notice how tight the isobars are. the risk of gales or severe gales dosmgt for england and wales rain across western areas, but holes will be punctured in the cloud. we could see sunny spells developing through the afternoon. it will be again, another chilly day. but those winds really quite a feature across this north—west corner through tuesday evening. the potential of severe gales for the western isles and the northern isles. it will send that belt of wet and windy weather across the uk and we open the floodlight gates to more weather systems which will be moving in and quite cold as well. there will be some wintry showers mixed
into the north—west corner of the uk through wednesday. sunshine and showers. eventually the rain will clear from southern and eastern areas and we will see sunshine and showers further south. it will be cold in the north the so for this week, it starts off dry and settled, but turns unsettled midweek onwards. the potential of gales or severe gales to end the week. the headlines at 9. a wave of strikes ahead of christmas — around 3,000 staff at crown post offices walk out for three days overjob security and pension changes. southern rail workers also begin two days of industrial action in the row over the role of conductors. the evacuation of aleppo resumes — dozens of buses carrying hundreds of people left the city overnight for rebel—held territory. among them is seven—year—old bana alabed, who had tweeted about conditions in the besieged city.